I had escaped abuse about a year ago. I was living in a tiny studio flat with my two children. I was working full-time and a single mother. The children were fighting a lot, and I was overstressed, alone and fearful. I was going through horrible legal proceedings. I was exhausted. I felt my whole body was bleeding pain. I sent a SMS to someone who I trusted because I was angry at my daughter for some stupid reason and needed an adult ear to ease the pain. Instead, this person made up her mind about my mothering skills. Since that day, I was the bad mother. Each time I have to talk to this person, she acts as if I was a danger to my own daughter, not taking care of her in the right way. It still affects me after all these years. I trusted this person. I loved her so much. I have never been able to get any appreciation in her eyes. I was a bad child and I am now a bad mother.
The pain is raw. The pain is here. I go back to bulimia and I cannot stop the tears. I love my daughter more than anything else. Why do I even need to say this? How come I feel I have to justify myself again? I have to learn to cut the cords which attach me to this person. She is not living with me. It is my decision to invite her into my mind or to leave her where she is, all judgmental and harsh. I was never enough for her. I have to accept it. And move on.
Sometimes I get so stressed when the children ask me for things, toys, electronic devices or to travel to the States, Dubai and Asia. I have to recenter and remind myself that they cannot understand how much pressure I sometimes have as a single mother providing for three people. At the same time, I am happy they have such grandiose desires because desire is the vehicle which propels us forward in life.
Rebuilding our life implies identifying our own core values, in an intense and clear manner. Knowing who we are also allows us to become a better mother. Children are a mirror of who we are. May we be strong and trustful in our education principles, even before we give birth. Such self-knowledge can help us to build our life, to rebuild our life and to build the life of our child. A huge thank you to Jean Liedloff for a revolutionary book “The Continuum Concept: In Search Of Happiness Lost“.
“Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls.
But every day I’m growing –
I’ll be grown some day
And all those tiny handprints
Will surely fade away.
So here’s a little handprint
Just so you can recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small.”
May we always remember this. May we learn patience. May we grow as a mother but also as a woman so that children are not guilty when they become adults.
Meeting the first child’s needs when caring for a newborn is very challenging. I sometimes felt torn between the needs of my two children, even guilty towards my daughter because the new baby took most of my time. While I sometimes felt on the verge of collapsing, I was happy that nobody was breathing on my neck/telling me what to do. My days were a big roller-coaster of emotions, but I wouldn’t have traded my life for anyone else’s. At last I could feel useful by doing the most important job in the world: raising children, helping them turning into caring, autonomous and responsible human beings. Love to you all and a big hug to fellow hard-working mothers.
If you travel to Djerba in Tunisia, I highly recommend a visit to DjerbaExplore, the crocodile park. The children loved it.